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Waiting Out Winter

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  89 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Nick and the boys return from the summer's last hunting trip to find the streets empty, the beachfront and park abandoned, and the windows of their own homes boarded shut. The hunters have become the hunted, in an apocalyptic plague that pits man against beast—very tiny beasts. And Nick is determined to keep his strength, courage and family alive during what could very wel ...more
Paperback, Limited, 113 pages
Published April 2011 by Thunderstorm Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Jan 24, 2016 Bill rated it really liked it
It started with the tent worms. Then came the government brain trust solution. Now everything has gone to hell and people are trapped inside their houses, afraid to go outside lest they get bitten by disease carrying black flies…or worse.

I really liked this one from Kelli Owen. The characters and storyline were well drawn in the short format and I enjoyed the apocalyptic “concept.” Very well done. My only gripe is that it ended a bit abruptly, but evidently there is a follow up novella The Hatch
Jan 19, 2016 Chris rated it it was amazing
In this clever and very frightening precursor to an obviously much larger story, Kelli Owen brings a fresh take to the post apocalyptic horror story. Trapped in their homes after deadly disease-carrying black flies invade their town (created by the government to eradicate tent worms, but of course this goes awry), citizens of the small Wisconsin burg realize that survival is the least of their worries. And what Owen so deftly presents is how ordinary folks struggle to survive amidst the horror, ...more
Jan 14, 2014 Kaisersoze rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
You know how some authors just click with you as a reader? That no matter what they publish, you can find the good elements within it - even if others are lambasting it from pillar to post?

Well, Kelli Owen is not that kind of author for me.

This is my second read from her, and I found this novella to have the same issues which I found lacking in The Neighborhood: namely, a sense of disconnect from the characters and what is befalling them. Owen glosses over so many things so quickly, I never fee
Russell Coy
Jan 27, 2016 Russell Coy rated it really liked it
Three friends return home after a weekend hunting trip to find their town apparently abandoned. It isn't, though--everyone is indoors, avoiding the genetically engineered flies that carry a deadly super virus which has wiped out much of Wisconsin and beyond. Now, the men and their families can only wait for the infestation to die out, and hope their sanity doesn't die too.

Kelli Owen offers up a well-crafted and claustrophobic tale here, with vivid characterizations and a stark use of atmosphere.
Mar 21, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 2012-reads
Waiting Out Winter reminded me of Shute's "On the Beach" which is a masterpiece (perhaps THE masterpiece?) of the quiet apocalypse. As the afterward points out (in chilling fashion), our lives do indeed hang on threads that can be severed when we play with science like a child with a toy. Entirely plausible. Chillingly realistic.

My only complaint is that I feel that this book only touched on areas that could have been explored, and ended a bit too quickly.
Jan 17, 2013 Mike rated it really liked it
This was the second book by Kelli I have read, the first was The Neighborhood. I enjoyed reading both books a lot and will be reading more of her work in the future. Waiting Out Winter was a good quick read, I gave it 4 stars.
Aug 19, 2011 John rated it really liked it
I always enjoy end of the world books but this one was slightly different... Not in a bad way tho, It was just a different take compared to some other titles i may have read as of late. Good solid short story and It leaves me wanting more from Kelli.
Kevin Lucia
Mar 28, 2011 Kevin Lucia rated it really liked it
Great. Thanks to Kelli Owen, now I'm afraid of flies....
Mar 26, 2012 Gef rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
When the summer comes, so do the flies. I love the outdoors, but if I never see another mosquito, blackfly, no-see-um, or moose fly in my life, I will not lament the unbalance of nature's food chain. And that's one of the little things touched upon in Kelli Owen's novella, Waiting Out Winter: nature's balance.

Upon returning from their last hunting trip of the season, Nick and his friends discover their hometown and beyond has been deluged by flies. Streets are empty and windows are boarded up. I
William M.
Feb 20, 2012 William M. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, drama

Kelli Owen is one of those new writers that really deserve all the acclaim she is garnering. “Waiting Out Winter” is a beautifully painted landscape of apocalyptic destruction on a small scale. Her concept of transmission and contagion feels all too real and I kept shaking my head while reading it, knowing how easy this fiction could become America’s reality some day.

Situations and relationships continue to build as author Owen throws curve balls and unique scenarios that keep yo
Rafael Marmol
Jan 22, 2016 Rafael Marmol rated it really liked it
Waiting Out Winter is my first Kelli Owen book. It was a short novella that I finished reading in two days. While it wasn't the most action packed thriller, there was a quiet horror and tension throughout the entirety of the book. There was a distinct feeling that none of the characters were safe. By safe, I mean there didn't appear to be any plot armor. At any moment, everyone in the story could have been infected. There was a sense of isolation despite being surrounded by a town full of people ...more
Grant Wamack
Aug 07, 2011 Grant Wamack rated it really liked it
Waiting Out Winter is a post apocalyptic horror novella written by Kelli Owen. Now, I’ve never read any of Owen’s work, but once I saw that Brian Keene championed her, I knew I had to dive in.

Nick and some of his buddies return from a hunting trip to find the streets clear and desolate. To make things weirder, the few people out and about are bundled up in winter clothing during the summer.

Jamie, Nick’s wife, fills him on all the horror that has happened in his absence. Tent worms have been dest
Feb 09, 2012 Qweequeg rated it really liked it
Kelli Owen has her own unique voice within the realm of horror fiction and Waiting Out Winter resonates with it. She looks at things a little differently, as showcased in this short end-of-the-world story. While Apocalyptic tales are nothing new, her angle on it was very refreshing. Given the shorter format of this story, she successfully meets the challenge of drawing the reader into the horrific world the characters are living in - if you can call it "living." As they try to survive, her tiny ...more
Feb 22, 2012 Lincoln rated it really liked it
WAITING OUT WINTER, a small, slender volume from Thunderstorm Books' Elemental chapbook series is Kelli Owen's newest release. It packs a huge punch that belies its size, however, and is more deserving of your time than some books three times its size and two-thirds the price.

Nick and his hunting buddies come home from a couple weeks in the woods to find themselves immediately neck-deep in an apocalyptic situation created by the local government's inept and little-too-late response to a pest pr
Richard Wright
Jun 04, 2011 Richard Wright rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
An apocalypse in action, as the accidental release of biting flies carrying a deadly cross-species plague begins to wipe out America. Despite the premise, this is a small story, set primarily in a single sealed up house. In many ways, through well-written, this didn't work for me. There's too much sitting around and talking, explaining what's happened and what might happen, and not enough doing. With the exception of a couple of splendidly executed home invasions, and despite some very well expr ...more
G.R. Yeates
Nov 07, 2011 G.R. Yeates rated it really liked it
A novella that echoes Jack Ketchum and Stephen King most vividly in its portrayal of family and society breaking down under the strain of an epidemic. Many post-apocalyptic stories go for scope and epic scale but Waiting Out Winter keeps it intimate, makes you hug as close to the fire as the characters do so that when they feel the cold and see the last lights of hope dying out so do you. You feel the strain of their cabin fever and itch from the skin-crawling descriptions of the epidemic and it ...more
Douglas Castagna
Jun 24, 2014 Douglas Castagna rated it really liked it
I never read Owen before, but saw she was going to be at Scares that Care this year, and was the only author there I was unfamiliar with, so I gave her a chance. I was glad I did. This novella packs quite a blow, both literally and socially. It is well written, with richly drawn characters, and an effective comment on society and the government as a whole and how they respond to problems, sometimes far too late.

Summer only spells death now that the flies are our destruction, so what can a small
Apr 28, 2011 Blu rated it really liked it
Kelli Owen’s Waiting Out Winter is a post-apocalyptic novella with a fresh twist, in that it doesn’t involve zombies, nuclear war, terrorism, cannibalism, or any of the other staples of the end-of-the-world genre. Instead of a grand act, the world ends on an innocuous black cloud of human error, borne on tiny, buzzing wings.

Emily Warner
Jul 20, 2013 Emily Warner rated it it was amazing
Ms. Owen is a very talented author. She pulls you into the story with ease and makes you care about the characters and the plot very quickly. She takes something so realistic and makes it so believable you will view flies differently!! The story was paced very well and when it was over, I didn't want it to be.

A.D. Roland
LOVE it. Beautifully written! Amazing, compelling story.
Jeff Heimbuch
Apr 11, 2011 Jeff Heimbuch rated it it was amazing
Read it in one sitting. Kelli, you're quickly becoming my favorite author! Fantastic little novella!
Henrik Kamstrup-nielsen
Jul 12, 2012 Henrik Kamstrup-nielsen rated it really liked it

A well paced, small story about epedimia and what happens when society is trying to take action against one threat and happens to make things worse when they apply the cure.
M. Dixon
Feb 17, 2016 M. Dixon rated it it was ok
I'm sorry. I just couldn't get into this story. While the premise was good, the writing wasn't compelling.
Sheri White
Apr 10, 2011 Sheri White rated it it was amazing
Great end-of-world story; review to come at The Crow's Caw soon.
Brent Abell
Brent Abell rated it really liked it
Jun 26, 2012
Tom Duffy
Tom Duffy rated it it was amazing
Jan 01, 2017
Skip Novak
Skip Novak rated it it was amazing
Feb 26, 2012
Emily Bankert
Emily Bankert rated it it was amazing
Mar 21, 2015
Mandy rated it it was ok
Apr 01, 2016
OldFisben rated it liked it
Dec 12, 2014
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